UC Irvine’s Welcome Week 2008 saw a surge in UCI student participation with a wide variety of student interactive activites. ASUCI members and the general student population agreed that student support for school activities has grown since last year.
The weeklong celebration featured primary daily events interspersed with small club and major-specific presentations, introducing new students to UCI’s diverse social, educational and occupational opportunities.
Starting off the week with the Anteater Involvement Fair, students were able to explore clubs and organizations lining the paths of Aldrich Park. As the evening wore on, students kicked off Late Night at the ARC, an event for students to stay up late listening to music and socializing within the spacious ARC facility until 4 a.m.
District Day, in which shuttles were provided to transport students to the new District shopping center in Tustin, proved to be a success, even more so than ASUCI representatives and committee members had planned for.
“In the past they never did District Day,” said ASUCI President Megan Braun. “There were hundreds and hundreds of people who went. So many more people took the shuttles than we thought there would be.”
Screen on the Green with “Iron Man” had students coming from all over campus, and not just for the free food provided by the Chipotle restaurant chain.
“It was the biggest turnout we had in the past couple years,” said Tiffany Go, Student Services representative and Welcome Week organizer.
Wednesday brought the Rockin’
‘Eaters Concert, drawing well over 1,000 students to Aldrich Park for an evening of free Wienerschnitzel hot dogs, popcorn, soda and of course, music.
The concert agenda boasted popular musicians like William Tell (formerly of the band Something Corporate), Saosin and local talent The Jakes. The Jakes struck a personal chord with the audience, as a few of its members are actually UC Irvine students.
The sneak preview for “Eagle Eye” was sold out the following evening.
“We filled the theater a half hour before the movie started. We had to turn 200 people away,” Go said.
The final day brought the Welcome Back Beach Bash. ASUCI shuttle buses brought students to Newport Beach for a day of body boarding, beach volleyball and s’mores.
Braun feels that UCI’s newest class of freshmen is more actively involved in the university.
“This freshman class was more engaged. I think it has to do with the fact that [the Student Parent Orientation Program] was mandatory,” Braun said
With the month of October comes Shocktoberfest and Midnight Magic combined. On Oct. 17, a section of Mesa Road will be shut down in order to accommodate a large number of people. The actual event will take place in the Bren Events Center while the carnival and celebration will take place outside.
Future plans for ASUCI include being part of a program called Campus Movie Festival. The event takes place at 35 other schools including colleges such as the University of Southern California and Stanford University. Essentially, it’s a weeklong movie creation project sponsored by Apple, Coca-Cola and a number of other companies.
Over the course of the week, Apple professionals will train students on Apple computers, cameras and software. The final product will be an accumulation of the day’s skills applied to a five-minute video created by students. The best video at UCI competes with Southern California and the rest of the nation in order to win prizes.
ASUCI also plans to increase the budget for Speakers and Debate, the group who brought Public Broadcasting System TV personality Bill Nye to UCI last April 17. Another popular speaker is expected to grace the UCI campus this year.
Go expressed her excitement for what the year has in store. “Seeing the turnout [at Welcome Week] made me really excited about the freshman class. I know they’re going to do great things for this school. It’s an exciting time for UCI.”
Oscar-Winning crunk stars Three 6 Mafia will be headlining this year’s Shocktoberfest on October 17. ASUCI is providing tickets for this concert free of charge for all students.